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What does Brexit mean for Africa?

Wednesday, July 06, 2016 - 01:35

Economist Jeffery Sachs says the uncertainty around Britain's decision to leave the European Union will impact development aid and investment in Africa if the exit does not take place quickly. Ivor Bennett reports

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The busy streets of Ghana's capital are a long way from London. But it's recent events in Britain that are among the worries weighing on minds here. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PROFESSOR JEFFREY SACHS, HEAD OF THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT SOLUTIONS NETWORK (SDSN), SAYING: "I think this BREXIT is a complication, not only for Britain and for Europe but for the rest of the world so there will be spillovers for example, Britain will be distracted in its aid policy." Another casualty for Africa could be foreign investment. Oil exploration in Uganda is one of several projects that have helped lure capital to the continent in recent years. Foreign investment growing by 4 times in the last decade. But with Europe now mired in uncertainty, projects like this become a lot less attractive. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PROFESSOR JEFFREY SACHS, HEAD OF THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT SOLUTIONS NETWORK (SDSN), SAYING: "Investors stop investing when there is uncertainty, they run to the safe havens and so the longer there is uncertainty the worse it is for all parties so I hope that this process of exit takes place more quickly." A hope no doubt shared by these cocoa farmers. who export the bulk of their product to the EU. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PROFESSOR JEFFREY SACHS, HEAD OF THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT SOLUTIONS NETWORK (SDSN), SAYING: "Certainly the European Union vis a vis its outside counterparts like in West Africa will try to say everything is normal -- business is usual, so I think they won't try to disrupt that partnership agreement and my expectations is that it won't be too calamitous." But then again, few thought it would come to this. The reality of a Brexit being felt a lot further afield than just Britain.

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What does Brexit mean for Africa?

Wednesday, July 06, 2016 - 01:35